Hello! I’m Dani Blum, a reporter at Welldesk, and I’m representing Jancy Dunn today. From time to time, I cover the latest health news and health trends that take the internet by storm.
When friends ask me about my work this year, I’ve always used the word “chaos.” That’s not a bad thing. I love the adrenaline rush I get from tackling new warnings against artificial sugar or the news that millions of people will lose insurance due to Medicaid relief. And I love helping readers understand what’s going on and why it’s important. Wait, which seed is trending on TikTok right now? Why are so many people starting drinking raw milk? Why can’t I find eggs anywhere?
As we somehow reach 2024, we take a look back at the stories that captivated readers in 2023 and what they can tell us about our health in the year ahead.
The Ozempico era has just begun…
This year, it felt like there was a constant stream of news about Ozempic and similar drugs that can lead to dramatic weight loss. As more of these drugs came onto the market, more patients began requesting them and more doctors began accepting them. This year in particular he had two trends that fascinated me. One is that mental health professionals have begun offering drugs to reduce the weight gain caused by psychiatric drugs, and the other is that some menopausal people who are struggling to lose weight are turning to these drugs. That’s what I noticed.
Interest in these drugs has also gone beyond diabetes treatment and weight loss. Researchers have reported that one of the drugs, Wegovy, may reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke in some people. The expansion of the reach of these drugs could become one of the biggest storylines in 2024.
…And the corona era is not over yet.
Officially, the coronavirus public health emergency ended this year, marking an important milestone as the pandemic settles into a new phase. This transition made it difficult for many people to get tested for the coronavirus or receive newly updated vaccines, even though the virus remained a major presence in our lives. New variants keep emerging, and many of us feel trapped in a never-ending cycle of infection and recovery.
Health damage caused by climate change has become clear…
The most enjoyable part of my job is pursuing answers to what I consider to be the most pressing questions of the day. This summer, as wildfire smoke wafted over New York and the sky turned orange, I searched my coat pocket for his N95 mask and breathed in the smoky air during my eerie commute to the office. I wondered how much this was affecting my lungs. The health risks from climate change are rapidly increasing, and more and more people are starting to think about how changes in the weather will affect their health.
Perhaps the only upside, if you can call it that, is that next year we might be at least slightly better prepared to adapt to the new normal. The next time there’s a storm that floods New York, or the next heat wave hits, I’ll know what precautions to take to stay as safe as possible.
…So were the harms of drinking.
You may not want to hear it, and I don’t want to hear it either, but the evidence that alcohol is bad for you has become painfully clear. New research this year shows that alcohol-related deaths are increasing faster among women than men, and the gap is narrowing between men and women, especially those over 65. And further evidence has emerged that alcohol increases the risk of cancer, particularly breast and colon cancer.
For the “sober curious” among us, Dry January offers an opportunity to think consciously about drinking in the new year, and consider maintaining that mindset throughout the year. .
And what was old became new again.
If there’s one rule you can trust in the world of out-of-control wellness trends, it’s that fads may come and go, but they never really go away.
This year, Zoomers brought back cottage cheese, long overshadowed by Greek yogurt, and touted its health benefits. People sought out the ancient herb ashwagandha to relieve anxiety. And by pouring olive oil into its coffee, Starbucks has capitalized on the mainstream popularity of the Mediterranean diet, where people pour olive oil into everything from yogurt to ice cream. Some TikTok users drank olive oil straight from a shot glass in hopes of clearing their skin.
What kind of trends will emerge in 2024? It’s anyone’s guess. All my money goes towards stress relief. After all, this is an election year in the United States. That’s why I turn to supplements and products that claim to be able to relieve anxiety. I wish it were that simple.
Did you make a New Year’s resolution that changed your life? please please share them with us We may include it in a future newsletter.
Lonely? It’s nothing to be ashamed of.
My colleague Christina Caron has written a great article about the stigma associated with loneliness and strategies for enduring and even accepting loneliness.
Read article: There’s no shame in feeling lonely
What you need to know about late night eating
Snacking before bed can be difficult for your body to handle. My colleague Alice Callahan explains why.